Contra Costa Community College District Sets Plans for Next Wave of Campus Construction

By Paul Burgarino Contra Costa Times Posted: 07/26/2014 04:08:03 PM PDT


MARTINEZ -- With an additional $450 million in bond funds on the way to reconstruct its well-worn campuses, the Contra Costa Community College District now has a game plan for the upcoming work.


Trustees approved a blueprint last week that divvies up money from the successful June ballot measure, revises its organizational plan for staff, and establishes a list of what will be built first and when -- steps needed to sell the first batch of bonds.


First out of the gate is a new campus in Brentwood, as the district puts out a request for engineers to design a $34 million Los Medanos College extension this week, said Ray Pyle, the district's chief facilities planner.


The current Brentwood campus is housed in a former grocery store in a strip mall, often leading to student headaches over parking.


Bids for the 17-acre campus, located on district-owned land off Marsh Creek Road, south of the East County city, will be due Aug. 19. The project is expected to take four years to complete, two apiece for design and construction.


In addition to the new Brentwood campus, the gym annex project at Contra Costa College also could be headed out to bid soon. However, Pyle said, more discussions are needed with leadership at the college to determine whether that should be prioritized over other buildings.


"Is jumping out of the gate with the gym annex the right thing to do, or do we spend more time working on the science and allied health project?" he said.


Diablo Valley College has a master plan in place, and the first project that would use Measure E funds is a renovation of the engineering technology building. Money from a previous bond is being used for that project's design.


Trustee John Nejedly said the Pleasant Hill campus "comes together really well."


"I'd like to see that at the other campuses. We need to make sure everything works together and look at the whole college, not just individual projects on the campus."


"It makes life so much easier if it's designed in a way where students can move from building to building easily," Trustee Greg Enholm said.


Work on the Los Medanos campus in Pittsburg will start with a student activities building, located off the recently completed physical education complex.


District-related projects will include new campus police stations at LMC and CCC.


Program management and administrative costs will consume about 9 percent of the $450 million, and the district will keep 10 percent as a contingency.


About half of the remaining $364.5 million will be put toward DVC projects and $83 million to LMC.


The district moved $23 million out of the money slated for improvements at the district offices for CCC, boosting its amount to $84.4 million.


"We now account for size and age, in a matter which is consistent," Pyle said.


The board also asked district staff to take another look at acquiring the National Guard Armory property adjacent to the San Pablo campus.


Measure E, which doubles the annual amount Contra Costa property owners now pay the district each year from $13 per $100,000 in assessed value to $26, received 57.6 percent of the vote. It comes on the heels of similar bonds of $120 million passed in 2002 and $286 million in 2006.


Pyle proposed adding a design director position to improve the construction process this time around.


"If I can get design started now, while I have the construction team focused, as soon as I'm done with the work for the 2006 bond, I can move right in with Measure E," Pyle said. "That's something we didn't do as effectively as I'd like to because we were perpetually understaffed."


Contact Paul Burgarino at 925-779-7164. Follow him at